Huh

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Dec 21 11:06:46 EST 2004


Dorian wrote:
>Minnow said...

>> Anyone who's ever read any book in which some thing or other is
>> condemned by the author or the viewpoint character as "vulgar" is likely
>> to feel a bit got at as they read, if they happen to think the thing is
>> perfectly ok.
>Oh yes.
>On a slight tangent, I saw Buckingham Palace for the first time last year, 
>and my first thought was, "how...how *middle-class*!"  The thought being 
>inspired by the sight of net curtains at all the windows.  I had to laugh at 
>myself as I thought it, but I did think it. :-)

The royal family *are* essentially middle-class, though: that's their
strength, as well as their weakness.  They really don't do the
"aristocrat" bit terribly well.  This reassures the populace that they
aren't about to start throwing their weight about too much: last time
that happened, we had no end of trouble finding replacements when we'd
gone through all that boring civil war business in order to abate the
nuisance, and in the end had to settle for an heir in the direct line,
which was too tedious for words, as well as being a great waste of time
and effort and money...

>>>I am pretty sure that Lewis was drawing on Nesbit anyway. Witness _The New
>>>Treasure Seekers_: "Father knows a man called Eustace Sandal. I do not 
>>>know how
>>>to express his inside soul, but I have heard father say he means well.
>> Ouch!
>It's one of the worst things you can say of someone, almost, isn't it - that 
>sort of pitying "oh well, he *means* well...".

Offers itself for the reply "the road to Hell is paved with good
intentions", too.

>> [note for anyone who doesn't happen to have met this: "eccentric" is a
>> British euphemism for "stark staring loony but harmless".]
>I've always thought of it more as "eccentric" equals "nutty but rich" - but 
>maybe I read too much Georgette Heyer. :-)

That's one reading; but I have encountered enough eccentrics who weren't
rich to feel that I have to go with the other.  

The Heyer one can read too much is *Regency Buck*, as far as I am
concerned.  Or any of the detective fiction set 'tween wars.  :-)

Minnow
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